Is there a more aggravating situation in your day than to have a toilet not flush properly? As long as a toilet is working as it should, it's easy to not give it a second thought. Rather than wait for a toilet to act up, take a pro-active approach to minimize toilet troubles.
Tips to insure flawless flushing; here's a baker's dozen:
1. Don't use a toilet for a trash can or garbage disposer. Rather than list all the items that shouldn't be flushed down a toilet, I'll list the safe ones. A toilet is designed for the purpose of disposing of human waste and toilet tissue ... that's it ... end of story.
2. All paper is not created equal; toilet tissue is especially designed to quickly breakup in water whereas many other papers such as paper towels actually advertise how strong they are and how they hold together when wiping up liquids. Keep a waste paper basket in the bathroom for such things as facial tissues, sanitary products, paper towels, flushable wipes, etc.
3. Be kind to your toilets. Treat your toilet tanks and bowls like the "china bowls" they are; they can and will crack if abused. BE CAREFUL with tools around a toilet, don't compound the problem when making a repair in your bathroom. It's unlikely that you will be able to fix a cracked toilet bowl or tank.
4. Don't use a toilet for a ladder or stepstool. Don't stand or sit on a toilet tank lid. And don't put a lot of pressure on a tank by leaning back against it.
5. Throw out a toilet bowl cleaning brush once the bristles wear down and any metal is showing. Once the bowl is scratched, it's impossible keep clean, and you won't be able to repair the scratches. A plastic brush is less likely to scratch the china.
6. Don't store small or heavy items on the lid of the toilet tank or on a shelf above to minimize the risk of a something falling in, such as toys, brushes, combs, etc. A tooth brush that gets stuck in the interior passageway of a toilet bowl that can't be dislodged means replacing the toilet. A very heavy item that hits the china bowl could chip or crack the bowl.
7. Don't pour hot liquids into a toilet bowl or tank, the bowl or tank may crack.
8. Don't mix toilet cleaning products. Many of them contain bleach or ammonia; two ingredients that make a dangerous combination when mixed.
9. Help the environment, don't flush old prescriptions down a toilet. A hand full of pills is unlikely to harm a toilet, but according to the Arlington (Texas) Water Utilities, significant advancements in technology and processes have been made. Consequently, pharmaceutical compounds in tiny amounts are able to be detected in our waterways. Pharmaceutical compounds and personal care products are being found at low levels in many of our nation's lakes, rivers, and streams.
10. Do flush a toilet after every use. A crust will begin to form on the bottom of the toilet bowl if urine is allowed to sit in the bowl for long periods. The crust is very difficult to remove.
11. Never use a regular drain snake in a toilet which can permanently scratch the bowl. Make sure to only use a snake known as a toilet auger designed especially for toilets.
12. During freezing weather make sure the bathroom is heated, otherwise the toilet tank and bowl must be completely drained. In addition, the supply line under the tank should be disconnected and the ballcock drained.
13. Don't use drop-in tank tablets for cleaning a toilet. Whether blue, white or purple, these tablets are not good for the toilet. Some will cause a lazy flush which forces you to flush one, two or more times to completely clear a bowl. This lazy flush is also known as the blue goo phenomenon.
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